Answers to Your Top 15 IB Questions

Written By Anshima | Edited By Varsha & Adi | Updated on 24th Jan, 2024


Are you thinking of enrolling your kids in the International Baccalaureate (IB) program? It’s a big decision, and we get that. We know parents have a ton of questions about whether IB is the right fit. That’s why we’ve put together 15 IB FAQs with answers. We’ve covered all the basics to help you make a smart choice for your child. No jargon, just straightforward answers. Let’s make this decision-making process a bit easier for you.


Quick Summary

Top 15 IB FAQs –

  1. What is the IB curriculum?
  2. Is the IB program worth it?
  3. Is IB the future?
  4. How hard is the IB? 
  5. Which is better, CBSE, ICSE, or IB?
  6. Benefits of doing the IB over A/AP?
  7. Good IB schools in Bangalore?
  8. Is changing from CBSE to IB good?
  9. How do I succeed in IB?
  10. Is the IB for everyone?
  11. How do I choose my IB course?
  12. Average yearly fees for IB?
  13. Why IB program so.215 expensive?
  14. Combination of IB courses?
  15. Can IB and JEE be prepared together?

1.  What is the International Baccalaureate (IB) Curriculum?

1. What is the International Baccalaureate (IB) Curriculum?

The International Baccalaureate (IB) curriculum is an internationally recognized, nonprofit foundation established in 1968 and headquartered in Geneva, that sets the standard for quality education. Schools that embrace the IB curriculum are known as IB World Schools. These schools do not believe in delivering content but focus on teaching life skills, to shape students into successful learners and also encourage them to become well-rounded individuals.

It comprises of four distinctive education programs according to the age-

  • The Primary Years Programme (PYP) for children aged 3 to 12,
  • The Middle Years Programme (MYP) for those aged 11 to 16,
  • The Diploma Programme (DP) for students aged 16 to 19,
  • The International Baccalaureate Career-Related Programme (IBCP) is designed for the same age range. 

The IB program is like an awesome school plan that covers a bit of everything, making learning both fun and challenging. It’s well-liked, especially by students who dream of going to top universities worldwide. 

2. Is the International Baccalaureate (IB) program worth it for Indian students?

2. Is the International Baccalaureate (IB) program worth it for Indian students?

Since 1983, the IB has been officially recognized by the Association of Indian Universities, allowing students with an IB qualification to enter any university in India. In 2003, there were only 11 schools in India with IB boards, but now the number has surged to almost 208, and it continues to grow. While IB was initially chosen by parents aiming for their kids to study abroad, nowadays, Indian universities warmly welcome IB students.

Parents are drawn to IB because of its low student-to-teacher ratio, a curriculum that covers a bit of everything, exposure to the global perspective, and a strong focus on sports and other extracurricular activities. The interactive and different way of teaching in IB makes it a top choice for families seeking a modern and comprehensive education for their kids.

3. Is IB the future? 

Finishing the IB program sets students up well for college and makes universities worldwide respect them. Colleges in the US, UK, Canada, Europe, and Australia are cool with Indian IB grads and might even give credit for some IB classes. The IB program teaches students to think about the world and be open to different cultures, great for Indians thinking about jobs in diplomacy, business, or development. Also, IB grads often become entrepreneurs because the program teaches them to think smart and take charge. And, if Indian students want to work in the Indian Administrative Service, doing the IB program is a good start.

4. How hard is the IB? Is it as hard as some people make it seem?

It is often said that IB is a bit hard. To earn an IBDP certificate, students are required to select a minimum of 6 subjects. However, the key is to specialize in 3 to 4 subjects, with students typically opting for Higher Level (HL) in three subjects and Standard Level (SL) in the remaining three. HL involves learning extra topics, often equivalent to what’s taught in the first year of university.

But that’s not all to grab that IB Diploma, students don’t just hit the books. They have to write extended essays, dive into TOK (the theory of knowledge), and get hands-on with CAS (creativity, activity, and service). It’s not just about studying, it is about exploring, thinking, and contributing beyond the classroom.

5. Which do you believe is a better board, CBSE, ICSE, or IB?

The perceived difficulty of educational boards often depends on individual preferences and academic goals. The International Baccalaureate (IB) program, is often considered challenging, offering a broad and globally oriented curriculum with a focus on critical thinking and technology.

IGCSE (International General Certificate of Secondary Education) is recognized for its international approach and flexibility, providing students with a well-rounded education. It is often viewed as a balanced option between the intensity of the IB and the more subject-focused Indian boards.

ICSE (Indian Certificate of Secondary Education) and CBSE (Central Board of Secondary Education) are prominent Indian boards, well-regarded for their subject-oriented curriculum. They are recognized by national-level examinations, making them favorable for students aiming for competitive exams like JEE, IIT, GMAT, and NEET.

6. Benefits of doing the IB over A levels and AP?

The main benefit of IB over AP or Advanced Placement lies in the depth of learning. IB courses delve deeper into subjects, covering fewer topics but in more detail. IB diploma programs span two years, providing a comprehensive and immersive experience across six subject categories. In contrast, AP courses, lasting one or two semesters, cover a broader range of topics with less time devoted to each aspect. While AP focuses on college-level work and critical-thinking skills, IB programs aim to cultivate reflective, balanced, risk-taking, and caring individuals.

7. Which are the good international schools in Bangalore with an IB curriculum?

Some good international schools in Bangalore that offer the IB curriculum:

  1. Stonehill International School
  2. The International School Bangalore (TISB)
  3. Inventure Academy
  4. Greenwood High International School
  5. Canadian International School
  6. Indus International School
  7. The Valley School
  8. Mallya Aditi International School
  9. Treamis World School
  10. GEAR Innovative International School

For the latest and most reliable information, visit their official websites or reach out to them directly. Visiting the schools and talking to other parents can give you a better feel for the school environment.

8. Is changing from CBSE to IB good? 

Firstly, the distinction between the CBSE and IB curricula lies in their approach to learning. 

CBSE is exam-focused, emphasizing performance in examinations, while IB focuses on developing an inquiring and knowledgeable mind, based on critical and analytical thinking. 

Secondly, in terms of subject options, CBSE restricts students to three streams—Science, Commerce, and Humanities, while IB provides greater flexibility with six subject groups, allowing students to explore a broader range of options at both Higher and Standard levels. 

Additionally, the language and additional components differ, with English being compulsory in CBSE, whereas in IB Extended Essay (EE), Theory Of Knowledge (TOK), and CAS (Creativity, Activity, Service) are part of the IB that is mandatory.

Lastly, when considering university pathways, CBSE facilitates easier entry into top Indian universities through exams like JEE, NEET, and CAT while IB opens doors to international universities such as Harvard, Oxford, Princeton, Stanford, and more. We suggest you choose between CBSE and IB, depending on your educational needs and future goals.

9. How do I succeed in the International Baccalaureate? 

Start your IB exam preparation early and create a study schedule. Practice old test papers multiple times to get used to the questions. 

Work on the stuff that’s tough for you to get better. Stay motivated by setting small goals and taking breaks to avoid feeling tired. 

Get enough sleep to help your brain work well. Eat healthy, exercise, and drink water to stay fit. Keep your study stuff organized and ask for help when you need it.

10. Is the IB for everyone?

 

IB may not be the ideal choice for everyone due to several reasons. Primarily, IB is more suited for students aspiring to pursue their bachelor’s degrees in international universities. If the goal is to excel in competitive exams like NEET and IIT JEE, opting for ICSE or CBSE boards might be more beneficial. These Indian boards offer in-depth subject knowledge tailored to the requirements of such competitive exams. 

Additionally, as IB is a bit expensive, it is important to consider the financial aspect. Checking one’s financial capacity is essential, as the cost of IB education may not be feasible for everyone. Therefore, the choice between IB and other boards depends on individual academic goals, career aspirations, and financial considerations. 

11. How do I choose my IB course?

In the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Programme, selecting your subjects is a crucial step that requires careful consideration of your interests, strengths, and plans.

The program comprises six subject groups:

  • Studies in Language and Literature,
  • Language Acquisition,
  • Individuals and Societies,
  • Sciences,
  •  Mathematics
  • The Arts.

While you must take at least one subject from each group, the Arts group is optional. To determine your overall Diploma score, consider the importance of selecting the right difficulty level for each of the six subjects: Standard Level (SL) or Higher Level (HL).

Most students opt for three SL and three HL subjects, although some choose 2 SL subjects and 4 HL subjects. Higher-level subjects involve a greater depth of study, usually with three final exam papers instead of two. 

If you’re starting the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Programme and don’t know a particular language well, there’s an option called Ab Initio. It is designed for beginners, who are just starting and don’t know much about the language. When you choose your subjects, you’ll tell your school which ones you want to study. Your school will then check, whether the subjects fit into the timetable and if they have enough students interested in those subjects. It’s a good idea to talk to your teachers for advice and be open to make changes based on what your school can offer. 

This way, you can ensure that the subjects you pick are a good fit for you and set you up for success in the IB program.

12. What are the average yearly fees in IB schools in Bangalore?

In the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Programme, selecting your subjects is a crucial step that requires careful consideration of your interests, strengths, and plans.

The program comprises six subject groups:

  • Studies in Language and Literature,
  • Language Acquisition,
  • Individuals and Societies,
  • Sciences,
  •  Mathematics
  • The Arts.

While you must take at least one subject from each group, the Arts group is optional. To determine your overall Diploma score, consider the importance of selecting the right difficulty level for each of the six subjects: Standard Level (SL) or Higher Level (HL).

On average, the yearly fees for nursery kids in IB schools in Bangalore typically range from 2 lakhs to 5 lakhs. However, it’s important to note that fees can vary among different schools based on factors such as reputation, facilities, and location. For those seeking high-end options, we have mentioned the top 5 International schools in Bangalore with the highest fees-

 1. Stonehill International School: Annual Fees ₹900,000

 2. Indus International School: Annual Fees ₹ 7,10,000

  3. Canadian International School: Annual Fees ₹ 7,00,000

  4. The International School Bangalore (TISB): Annual Fees ₹ 500,000

  5. Mallya Aditi International School: Annual Fees ₹ 500,000

13. Why is IB program expensive?

In the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Programme, selecting your subjects is a crucial step that requires careful consideration of your interests, strengths, and plans.

The program comprises six subject groups:

IB schools are expensive for several reasons. Firstly, when it comes to teaching foreign languages, these schools often hire native speakers or experts in the language to ensure students receive authentic and high-quality language instruction. This specialization requires higher salaries and additional resources, contributing to the overall cost. 

Secondly, IB Schools provide a well-equipped infrastructure.

IB schools invest in facilities, from science labs to art studios and high-tech facilities. They invest in infrastructure that makes learning more fun. The commitment to providing top-notch resources and maintaining a perfect learning environment adds to the financial demands. So, the higher cost you see is because IB schools have great teachers, excellent resources, and a perfect place to learn.

14. Which combination of IB courses should I take?

 

Choosing your subjects in the IB program is like creating a mix of your favorite things. Pick the ones you love the most and might want to study more in university at a higher level. For instance, if you’re into History, Economics, and Math, you can choose these as your main focus. 

For the standard level, you can pick subjects like French, Biology, and English—ones you find interesting, even if they’re not your absolute favorites. This way, you have a good mix that satisfies both your interests and IB requirements. It’s like building your recipe for success. Don’t forget to talk to your teachers for advice—they’re like the chefs helping you create the perfect dish of subjects for your future.

15. Can you do the IB board and JEE, NEET preparation both together?

Whether an IB student should prepare for exams like IIT JEE or NEET depends on their career goals. While IB students are eligible for these exams, they are highly competitive and demand dedicated preparation. IB itself is rigorous, involving components like TOK, extended essays, and CAS, which include community service as well, which requires students extra time and effort. If you’re thinking about both IIT JEE or NEET and doing IB, then think about what you’re interested in and how much workload you can handle.

To make the right decision, think about what you want to achieve, and don’t forget to get advice from your teachers and counselors—they’re there to help.

Conclusion

Wrapping up our IB FAQs journey – it’s been quite a ride, hasn’t it? We’ve covered everything from nailing down the right subjects that match your passions to understanding the levels and why IB schools may seem a bit pricey. Don’t forget the Ab Initio option – a game-changer for language learning! The FAQs stress the importance of talking to your teachers, that is your secret weapon for success. We have also touched on the admission fees, mentioning that they can vary depending on the grade, infrastructure, and sports facilities the school provides. Overall, the IB FAQ Blog is helpful for anyone trying to understand the ins and outs of the IB program, making things clear for a successful school journey. 



Varsha & Adi

Hi, we are Varsha and Adi, and we’re on a mission to help parents make the right choice for their kids’ education. Picking a school is like a 10-year commitment, and we realized parents needed clear, no-nonsense info. That’s why we created Candid Schools, where you can get the real deal on schools without the fancy jargon. Our goal is simple: to give parents the info they need to make the best choice for their little ones.

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